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Lake Area Technical College Children’s Educare Center Policy


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Lake Area Technical College Children’s Educare Center does not discriminate against children or parents for admission, regardless of race, color, creed or sex. Preference for admission is for children whose parents are enrolled in a full-time course of study at Lake Area Technical College, but community members are welcome to apply for enrollment for their child(ren).

Children’s names will be placed on a waiting list and admitted to the center as vacancies occur. Priority will be given first to students’ children then to families on the waiting list who have another child presently enrolled. Priority for admission will be based on the date and time of request for enrollment. If the center is full and a large number of Lake Area Tech student children are anticipated, the community waiting list may be suspended until openings occur. When a Lake Area Tech student graduates or discontinues enrollment, the student’s child may be able to stay. A $20 non-refundable registration fee is required for admission.

The center may enroll children with special needs, such as hearing loss, language delays, or behavior problems only if it is in the best interest of the child and the center.

Parents must complete and return all required forms at least one week, if possible, before a child is admitted. These forms are to be kept current. Any additions or changes in information must be reported to the program director or staff member. The immunization form is required by the South Dakota State Department of Social Services and must be submitted to the Children’s Educare Center. A child’s file will be open to his/her parent(s) and appropriate staff.

It is recommended that an interview with the parent(s) and child be arranged prior to caring for an enrolled child. This provides an opportunity for the parent(s), child and staff to get acquainted and eases the adjustment period for the child. Please call for an appointment for your first visit.


A $20 non-refundable registration fee per family and a $100 refundable deposit fee per child is required for enrollment. These deposits are required the first day your child(ren) attends the Children’s Educare Center.

Tuition is set up on automatic withdrawal. Billing is done in the beginning and the middle of each month.  If the automatic withdrawal is declined, a $40 fee will be applied.  Accounts that are one month behind will result in termination of child care for the child(ren).

When a child is no longer enrolled at the center, the $100 will be:

  1. applied to the remaining tuition.
  2. refunded to the parent if the account is current.
  3. forfeited if a two-week notice was not given.

If there is an unpaid balance after the child has left and the balance is not paid within 30 days, the account will be turned over to a collection agency.


The Children’s Educare Center is open year around. The hours of operation of the center will be 6:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Monday through Friday except holidays (hours are subject to change to accommodate Lake Area Tech students). Parents are welcome to drop in and visit their children or observe the program anytime. Please observe closed days stated in your supplement.

Early/Late Fees

The center opens at 6:30 a.m. and closes at 5:45 p.m.. Any child brought early or picked up late will be cared for by a staff member. However, the parent will be charged $10.00 per 15-minute increment. The Department of Social Services Office of Child Protection will be contacted to pick up any child not picked up by 6:15 p.m. if the parent(s) cannot be located by phone.


Two weeks notice is required so that the center can make a smooth departure transition for your child and to enable us to contact new families. Please notify your child’s teacher, the program director, and bookkeeper of your plans. Failure to give the two weeks’ notice will result in your being charged for two more weeks and/or forfeiture of your deposit.

Daily Departure

A child will be released only to those persons authorized to pick up the child. The parent(s) needs to notify the center when someone else is picking up the child. This request will be documented by the parent on a form provided. The teacher will request identification for verification before releasing the child. For the protection of your child, written permission must be received by the program director or your child’s teacher if someone other than the persons listed on the parent permission form is picking up the child.

Attendance Policy

If your child is ill or not attending the center for the day, please notify the center no later than half an hour after scheduled time, or as early as possible. If the center has not been notified by a half an hour after scheduled time that your child will be absent, you will be charged for the day and your child will be counted as absent. This is important to ensure that proper student/teacher ratio is maintained and to allow for the needed number of meals to be prepared.  Community children are always charged a minimum of 35 hours worth of tuition a week. Lake Area Tech children are always charged a minimum of 32 hours worth of tuition a week.


Care for your child may be terminated for any of the following:

  1. Failure to show up for care previously requested without proper notification.
  2. Failure to pay for childcare services.
  3. Refusal to pick up a sick child after notification by the daycare center.
  4. Failure to provide notification of updated immunizations within one month of immunization due date.
  5. Nonpayment of tuition.

A time may arise when our center doesn’t meet your child’s needs. If, after a joint effort is made by parent and staff, it is evident that the child would benefit from a program other than ours, it will be recommended that the child be withdrawn from the program.


Should it be necessary to evacuate the center because of fire, the staff has been instructed in procedures for exiting the building. During severe storms, or if alerted by civil defense regarding a tornado warning, the children will be gathered at the safest location as indicated by the local civil defense personnel. Monthly fire drills are conducted to assure our readiness in case of fire.

Bomb Threat

In the event of a bomb threat at Lake Area Technical College, for your child’s safety, we will be evacuated to the Watertown High School Arena. We will remain there until the all clear signal is given. If a parent wishes to pick up their child during a bomb threat, they may do so at the arena.


Daily transportation to the Children’s Educare Center is not provided. Scheduled field trips will utilize the Watertown K-12 school buses

Emergency Closing Procedures

If it becomes necessary to close the center, the following procedures will be followed:

  1. Weather – Local radio stations will be used to notify parents the center is closed or will be closing and parents or guardians will be called.
  2. Other – Parents or guardians will be called.

Communicable Diseases

If your child contracts a communicable disease, please inform the center. If your child is exposed to a communicable disease while at the center, a notice will be posted. The South Dakota Department of Health will also be notified. Common communicable diseases include pink eye, ringworm, impetigo, measles, mumps, chicken pox, and strep throat. If you have any questions in regard to signs/symptoms, incubation period, and communicability, please contact the program director.

Sick Child Policy

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Public Health Association recognize that a child may be sent home when one or more of the following conditions exist: (A doctor’s note may be required in some instances for a child to return to the center.)

  1. Illness prevents the child from participating comfortably in activities at the center.
  2. Illness results in a greater care need than the childcare staff can provide without compromising the health and safety of the other children.
  3. Ear thermometer temperature is 100 degrees or greater; accompanied by behavior changes or other signs or symptoms of illness-until medical evaluation indicates the child may return.
  4. Symptoms and signs of possible severe illness (such as unusual lethargy, uncontrolled coughing/croup, irritability, persistent crying, wheezing, or other unusual signs) – until medical evaluation allows the child to return.
  5. Diarrhea.
  6. Vomiting illness (two or more episodes of vomiting in the previous 24 hours) until vomiting resolves or until a health care provider determines the illness to be non-communicable, and the child is not in danger of dehydration.
  7. Mouth sores with drooling, unless a health care provider determines the condition is not infectious.
  8. Rash with fever or behavior change unless a health care provider indicates that the symptoms do not indicate a communicable disease.
  9. Purulent conjunctivitis (defined as pink or red conjunctiva with white or yellow eye discharge), until 24 hours after treatment has been initiated.
  10. Scabies, head lice, or other infestation, until 24 hours after treatment has been initiated.
  11. Tuberculosis, until a health care provider or health official states that the child can attend child care.
  12. Impetigo, until 24 hours after treatment has been initiated.
  13. Strep throat, or other streptococcal infection, until 24 hours after initial antibiotic treatment and cessation of fever.
  14. Chicken pox, until 6 days after onset of rash or until all sores have dried and crusted.

If a child develops any of these signs while attending the center, he/she may be isolated from the other children and the parent may be contacted and asked to pick up the child within 30 minutes. The center recognizes that this may be an inconvenience for the parents, but it is necessary for the protection of the health of other children as well as the caregivers. It is recommended that parents have a “back up” plan for when their child is not allowed at the center for health reasons. It is the parent’s responsibility to notify their child’s primary caregiver or the bookkeeper when they are not at their normal job place. This will insure that you can be contacted in an emergency.

When a child is injured (skinned knee, for example) at the center, the teacher will complete an accident report.  You will be asked to sign the report and a copy will be given to you.  If the injury is more serious, you will be called immediately.  Please contact your child’s teacher if you have any questions.


Medication shall only be given to a child with specific written direction of a licensed health care provider and a signed consent form by the parent or guardian. Non-prescription drugs, such as Tylenol, cough syrup, diaper ointments and sunscreen, cannot be administered by a caregiver except when accompanied by a licensed health care provider’s written recommendation.

Medications shall be kept in their original containers with the original label, legible directions for use, expiration date, the child’s name, and the licensed health care provider’s name. The contents of any drug container without a label or with an illegible label shall not be permitted at the center.

All medication will be kept out of reach of children and properly refrigerated in the kitchen. The parent is expected to take the medication home daily as the Children’s Educare Center cannot be responsible for medications left at the center.

Medical Emergencies

To obtain emergency medical care, the staff will take whatever steps are necessary. These steps may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Attempt to contact a parent or guardian.
  • Attempt to contact the child’s physician.
  • Attempt to contact you through any of the persons listed on the emergency information forms you completed for us.

If we cannot contact you or the child’s physician, we will do any or all of the following: (a) call another physician or paramedic; (b) call an ambulance; (c) take the child to the hospital or clinic in the company of a staff member.

Any expenses incurred from treatment will be the responsibility of the child’s family.


State law requires that only children whose immunizations are current upon admission and maintained throughout enrollment are eligible for care. State requirements are as follows:

  • Age: Birth-2 months — Vaccine: Hep B-1
  • Age: 2 months — Vaccine: DTP-1/Polio-1/Hib-1/Hep B-2/PCV-1
  • Age: 4 months — Vaccine: DTP-2/Polio-2/Hib-2/PCV-2
  • Age: 6 months — Vaccine: DTP-3/Hib-3/PVC-3
  • Age: 6-18 months – Vaccine: Polio-3/Hep B-3
  • Age: 12-15 months — Vaccine: Hib-4/MMR-1/Varicella-1 (Chicken Pox)/PVC-4
  • Age: 15-18 months – Vaccine: DTP-4
  • Age: 12-24 months – Vaccine: Hep A/ 2 doses, 6 months apart
  • Age: 4-6 years — Vaccine: DTP-5/Polio/MMR-2/Varicella-2

Combination Immunizations Often Seen on Immunization Records:

Pediarix=DTP+Hep B+Polio

If the child’s physician wishes to delay immunization for any reason, it must be documented by the physician and kept on file at the center. When your child receives the needed vaccine, please bring the child’s’ immunization record to the day-care to make a copy for the file. Reminder: Failure to provide notification of updated immunizations within one month of immunization due date may result in termination of care for your child at this center.


The Children’s Educare Center does not carry accident insurance for children enrolled. Please review your own personal insurance to be certain that you and your children have the proper coverage.


All full-time staff have training in Early Childhood or a related field.

Should a parent have any questions or concerns about staff, please direct them to the director or assistant director of the daycare.

Student Teachers

The Children’s Educare Center is an on-the-job training site for Lake Area Tech students from various programs.


The staff will be guided by the following principles in a manner appropriate to the child’s age and developmental level and abilities.

  1. Each child is a precious, important person and needs to feel good about him/herself.
  2. All children need limits which are consistently enforced.
  3. Children need opportunities to learn to accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
  4. Positive behavior should be reinforced (for example, verbal praise.)
  5. It is most effective to redirect a child’s inappropriate behavior.
  6. Children need opportunities to learn how to make appropriate choices.
  7. Physical punishment is inappropriate and will not be used under any circumstances.
  8. Shaming a child is not conducive to good mental health.
  9. Punishment will not be used in connection with rest, food, or toilet training.
  10. Removal from a situation, loss of privilege, and planned ignoring are methods we will use for disciplinary purposes as the situation dictates.
  11. Discipline by a child’s peer is inappropriate and will not be allowed.

Behavioral Problems of Children Enrolled

When a specific behavioral problem has been identified by the staff, parent(s), or other children, the program director will bring this to the attention of the parent(s) of the involved child.

A time period will be established by the program director, parent(s) of the child involved, and the teacher during which the staff and parent(s) will work with the child to help him/her overcome the problem.

If it is determined after that time period that the identified behavioral problem continues to be threatening to the safety of the children or staff members, the involved child will be asked to leave the center. Re-admission may be considered after an agreed-upon time period. A registration fee will not be required under these circumstances. Disciplinary action for repeated occurrences will be taken at the discretion of the program director.

Child Abuse and Neglect

The staff at the Children’s Educare Center are mandated by South Dakota law to immediately report suspicion of child abuse and/or neglect to the South Dakota Department of Social Services or local law enforcement.

The staff and on-the-job training students are screened by the Department of Social Services Central Registry Check and are required to sign a statement which defines child abuse and neglect and reporting agreements.

Staff/students who are placed under investigation for child abuse/neglect will be temporarily suspended without pay until the investigation has been completed. Upon completion of the investigation and if charges are substantiated, the staff/student will be discharged immediately. If charges are not substantiated, the staff/student may return to work.

Outdoor Play

The staff and children will go outside on a daily basis (except during severe weather conditions.) The length of time will vary according to the weather. During the winter months, please provide appropriate clothing (snow boots, mittens, scarf, etc..) Please label all clothing items. A child who is too ill to go outside is too ill to come to the center. Infants will be taken outside only in warm weather.


All children must wear shoes with closed toes and heels to protect them on the playground. Tennis shoes work the best as we do take a lot of walking field trips. No cowboy boots or sandals please.

Sandals are not safe because they can stub toes while on walks and on the playground. The children do not like it when the sand gets in their toes.

It is very important that your child’s clothing be suitable for the season and for the day. Parents may want to listen to the forecast for the day to help them plan clothing attire.

Winter clothing should be: Snowsuit/snow pants, mittens, scarf, snow boots, hat.

Summer clothing: Short sleeve shirt, shorts, socks, underwear, swim wear (when needed)

For the summer, the center asks that sunscreen containing cocoa butter not be brought because of staff allergies. Sunscreen brought to the center should be labeled with your child’s name. It is recommended to use SPF 15 or higher. Look for UVA/UVB protection and PABA free.

If your child goes home in daycare clothes, please wash and return them as soon and possible.


Only disposable diapers will be used. Parents must provide all diapers and wipes. Any child wearing diapers or training pants must wear diaper coverings so the diaper is not exposed.

Each child’s diaper will be checked regularly when he or she is awake.

Toilet training will take place according to parent’s instructions. Parents are encouraged to wait until the child is about 2 1/2 years old, is walking well, and has enough language to understand and use a word or phrase as a cue.

Any parent wishing to begin toilet training their child should be sure to bring 4-5 separate changes of clothing (underpants, pants, shorts, shirts, socks, and even an extra pair of shoes.) Understand that even though your child’s caregiver will take your child to the bathroom on a regular basis, accidents will happen.

Fecal contents on underwear and clothing may be dumped and flushed down the toilet when possible. In the case of a loose or soft stool, however, your child’s caregiver will be unable to rinse out or wash any soiled clothing. This is recommended by the American Public Health Association of Pediatrics as well as the Centers for Disease Control to help prevent contamination from caregiver to child etc. Therefore, all soiled clothing will be placed in a closed plastic bag and sent home for proper laundering. In addition to this, we ask that the toilets and sinks at the center not be used to rinse out soiled clothing. With all the different children using the bathroom for toileting and hand washing, any fecal contents inadvertently left behind from rinsing soiled clothing could easily spread from child to child. In the event that you do need to rinse out clothing before leaving, the area must be scrubbed down and sanitized immediately following use. Please be sure to notify a staff member in this case so you can be provided with the proper sanitizing solutions.

Nap Time

Nap time and quiet time are regularly scheduled during the day. Children need to bring their own blankets (labeled) and mat. Please do not bring a pillow or sleeping bag for nap time as the center has limited storage space.

Infants will nap on their own schedule. All infants will have their own crib provided for their regular use.

All cribs and mats will be disinfected on a regular basis. Linen is also laundered on a regular basis. Blankets will be sent home every Friday for laundering to be returned on Monday.

Parents of Toddlers

Please remember to bring:

  1. Disposable diapers and wipes.
  2. An extra set of clothing to be left at the center in case of spills or accidents These should be kept in a shoebox (Please label the box with child’s name.) Be sure to include pants, shirt, socks, and training pants, if necessary.
  3. An extra set of clothing to be left at the center in case of spills or accidents. These should be kept in a shoebox. (Please label the box with child’s name.) Be sure to include pants, shirt, socks, and training pants, if necessary.
  4. Please dress your child in tennis shoes and play clothes only (please, no cowboy boots or sandals).

Parents of Preschoolers

Please remember to bring:

  1. An extra set of clothing to be kept at the center in case of spills or accidents. These should be labeled with your child’s name. Include pants, shirt, underwear, and socks.
  2. A crib-sized blanket and child-sized mat to make nap time more comfortable. No pillows or sleeping bags due to limited storage areas. Blankets must be taken home weekly, laundered, and returned on Monday. Label the mat and blanket.
  3. Please dress your child in tennis shoes and play clothes only (please, no cowboy boots or sandals).


The Children’s Educare Center is a latex-safe environment.

Items From Home – Our center is equipped with appropriate toys; therefore, we request that no play items be brought from home. We also ask that children do not wear rings and watches as we wash our hands frequently and jewelry gets in the way. If such items are brought to the center we cannot be responsible for it.

Parent Visits – A parent is always welcome to visit the center at any time. Please check in at the office.

Conferences – A parent may request a conference at any time, however conferences are scheduled the month of April for children three years and older.

Birthdays/Special Occasions – Arrangements for observing a special occasion by bringing treats must be planned with the center staff and must involve all children in the child’s group. Birthday treats cannot be homemade, they need to be store bought, pre-packaged foods. Some suggestions: Bananas, boxed raisins, granola or cereal bars, cheese and crackers, cereal, and fruit snacks. Please avoid candy treats.

Paper Products Roundup – Parents will be asked to bring: two boxes of 250 count Puffs tissues and two large packages of 300 count napkins twice a year to help defray costs. Tentative dates are February, June, and September. A notice will be posted.

Phone Calls – Phone calls are not allowed directly to children while at the center. These phone calls are very disruptive. In order for the child to hear on the phone, they have to use a phone in another area. Children need to be monitored at all times.